KATIE GATELY shares new single “Howl”

With her forthcoming album, ‘Fawn / Brute’ set for March 31st release on Houndstooth, today Katie Gately has shared a third and final pre-release track, entitled Howl.

Following the album’s contrasting title tracks, Fawn” and Brute“, and the off-kilter melodic pop song Cleave“, new single Howl is a jagged, eerie take on a classic Brother’s Grimm fairytale, building and journeying to a dramatic ending.

“”Howl” is my own musical rewrite of the Little Red Riding Hood fairy tale” she explains. “Instead of being hunted and tricked by the wolf, a young girl navigates through the forest with playful tact. She is directed entirely by her own curiosity and ignores the unsolicited advice of her fellow creatures. At the end of her adventure she’s met with an unhinged applause that I hope the listener will take personally. “Howl” is the antithesis of looking over your shoulder and asking for permission. It’s a reminder to get outside, make a mess and play.”

Following her highly acclaimed 2020 album ‘Loom’, in which Gately channelled the loss of her mother through sounds captured from earthquakes, elephant trumpets, cantaloupe stabs and more, she returns with a new clutch of gathered sounds to continue the intimate look at her maternal line. ‘Fawn / Brute’ is 11 songs of innocence and experience exploring the light and dark of childhood energy following the birth of her first daughter. It’s an album of two halves, moving from the effervescence of early years to the defiance and turbulence of teenage angst.

Events in recent years gave Katie Gately the space to acknowledge what she had been putting off: “For me, that was having a baby,” she says. “I turned to my husband and said ‘I think we should have a kid’. When I got pregnant I started to get creative again. I had a lot of energy at first, but later on, my pregnancy was stressful and worrying, so the music got darker and darker: I was making angry music while I was supposed to be feeling maternal.”

Gately’s daughter Quinn is referenced in the artwork’s harlequin, with two readings of the harlequin’s mischief captured in the two sides of the record, being both cheeky and transgressive with disruptive intent. “I wanted the album to feel like something my daughter could enjoy as she grew up,” she explains, “so the first tracks are childlike and upbeat, but as we get older we start to experience a volcano of emotion, angst, and conflict.” The first half channels inspirations from the busy and unsubtle dynamics of kids TV music and stomp and clatter of early Animal Collective albums. For the second half she was thinking about the brutalist sonic experiments of the British post-punk she obsessed over as a teenager, from PiL and Gang Of Four to This Heat.

In typical maverick style, Gately plundered cartoon sound libraries magpie-like to build signature nests of sounds, integrating her own idiosyncratic sound recording strategies and sampling techniques, from shoeboxes to theremin and with a boisterous recurring saxophone.

‘Fawn / Brute’ is her second album for Houndstooth, following critically acclaimed 2020’s ‘Loom’, made in the wake of her mother’s death. But where that album explored grief and long goodbyes, this album is one of play, embracing unstable mood shifts from joy to fury, embracing the energies of childhood and intensity of new life. Previous to ‘Loom’ and ‘Color’, Katie also released 12″s and a cassette on a number of notable underground labels – Public Information and Blue Tapes, as well as the critically acclaimed FatCat Split Series. Katie is also a producer, who worked on Serpentwithfeet‘s Soil (2018), and she has produced and remixed for both Björk and Zola Jesus, with Björk saying in an interview that she was struck by how Gately’s productions seemed to be “from a microphone point of view”. She was also part of Mary Anne Hobbs’ curated ‘Queens of the Underground’ Festival in Manchester (2019) alongside Houndstooth musician Aisha Devi and is currently living in Pasadena and teaching at Calarts and USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.  

‘Fawn / Brute’ track list:
1. Seed
2. Howl
3. Fawn
4. Cleave
5. Peeve
6. Scale
7. Meat
8. Brute
9. Chaw
10. Tame
11. Melt

Share this!